Celtic boss Ronny Deila raves about the partnership Charlie Mulgrew and Erik Sviatchenko have formed in central defence

The pair have started five games together for the Scottish Premiership leaders but appear to have already found an understanding.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila has heaped praise upon both Charlie Mulgrew and Erik Sviatchenko after the pair showed signs during their first handful of games playing alongside one another that they already have an excellent understanding, the Evening Times reports.

Mulgrew and January signing Sviatchenko have started five games together in all competitions at the heart of the Hoops defence, and in that run, Celtic are unbeaten, and have conceded just the one goal. And Deila suggested that their partnership is hugely encouraging given the lack of time they have had to get to know each other's games.

"Charlie and Erik have played very well together. We all know what Charlie brings. He has a great attitude, he wants to win and he is a big player in the dressing room. But Erik has come in and settled very, very quickly," he told the Evening Times.

"He is a good character. He is always very positive and I have been so pleased with the way he has adapted to Celtic. You never know how a player will react coming to a new country and a different culture but he has really pleased me. His work-rate is great, he is so enthusiastic to learn and get better and there is still more to come from him."

The performances that the two have put in since being put together has helped the Bhoys get over the loss of Jozo Simunovic, who has not played for the club since January due to injury. The Croatian has had a mixed spell at Parkhead, having often played well on the pitch, but a series of knocks have meant that he has been unable to build any momentum.

Deila's praise may be an encouraging sign for those Celtic fans that are hoping that Mulgrew can agree a new deal with the Scottish Premiership champions.

The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer (via Daily Mail), and while his own injury concerns may have given Deila reason to doubt whether it was worth handing the Scotland international an extension - having played once in just under five months earlier in the campaign - the consistency he has shown in recent weeks would suggest that he has plenty more to give at the club.

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